Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Death Certificate?

When do you declare an idea dead?

At the end of it’s rope.

Pushing up daisies.

Since my first round of college, I have periodically nursed a series of stories out of hibernation. Each time I dredge them up from the deeper memories of my brain, either the disk on which I had them stored had degraded to the point that they are no longer able to be retrieved or my imagination of the story has changed so much, the saved version provides little more than memories of the time I first put those words to paper, or in the most recent cases, screen.

Twenty-some years later and I’m back in college with absolutely no time to spend on creative writing, at least at the short story or novel length (I’m still trying to keep the blog going). Yet rather than concentrate on academic pursuits, my mind keeps drifting back to the exploits of Billy Chris, Mark, John, Matt, April Dawn, and Luke. Despite living in Austin, I have not found characters to match people I knew growing up in a small town. For such a reason Southern writers such as Eudora Welty and William Faulkner mined wealth from small town life.

Despite the regular visits back to the series of stories, I have not completed one to the point that I would consider it finished or even to the point of sharing. If the story has not matured in twenty-three years, is there yet hope for it?

I think hope still exists.

My brain will not let go of these stories. They tumble about in the vacant spaces between thoughts and sometimes they spill out. Because they live in memory, I believe they simply need a good editor. Somewhere between the now yellowed sheets of notebook paper and the floppy disks that no longer work, the real story waits to be composed.

Because the stories and characters keep taking up synaptic space, I refuse to fill out their death certificate or write the obituary.
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